A Travellerspoint blog

Bells, Babies and Leaning Tower of Pisa

It had rained heavily overnight and I woke up to a gray overcast sky at 7am when I heard the church bells chime. I love those bells. Poor Nath hates those bells as they are right next to his room!!! He says they chime on the hour, 5 minutes past the hour and 30 mins past the hour. He got very little sleep in between the bells and the crying baby in his room!!

My legs are feeling the affects of so much up and downhill climbing yesterday with aching calves

After a breakfast of yummy crusty toasted bread with nutella we head over down the 368 steps to the station to do the walk on to the southern Cinque Terre towns of Manarola and Monterossa. We walked down from the station and the sea was quite wild and rough today and we were the closest to the sea of any of the walks. We reached a padlocked gate with a sign saying the track was closed. We found out later there was a high track that goes around the landslide.

Back we went to the station to catch a train to Manarola to look around and then do the walk to the last town. Just as we arrived at the station a train pulled in at the opposite platform and we had to do the quick run down the subway to just make the train in time. We jumped on board and a conductor came along asking for our tickets. We said we wanted to go 1 station to Manarola but he said it was the express train to La Spezia….ooppss!! It cost us 11 euro each as it was an IC train…bit expensive for a 15-minute ride!!! It then stopped for several minutes in a dark tunnel so Nath and I started to get a bit claustrophobic & freak out!

We had planned on going to Pisa this afternoon so with this detour decided to do that this morning. We pulled in to La Spezia and hopped off and noticed that many people were hopping on. Nath had the great idea to ask where they were going in case it was the train to Pisa. Some people said Pisa and others said Firenze (Florence) so we jumped back on and grabbed some seats. That same conductor came along and was surprised to see us again. I explained we had hopped off and in hearing it was going to Pisa decided to go there, it was an hour away and cost another 11 E. He was really sweet and in sign language showed we must hide our money because the bambinos will try and steal it!!!.

Love the Italian language…it is so sing songy with most words ending in a vowel and an up!! The countryside is rolling wooded hills with little villages with church towers. Crops of wheat and maize and citrus trees are growing

Arrived in Pisa just before 11am and grabbed a map from an information centre to find our way to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Walked through a pedestrian mall, to a bridge over the river through the Piazza until we found it - only 1.5km through the medieval town centre

The square called Campo die Miracoli ( Field of Miracles) is home to the 11th century cathedral, Baptistry and leaning tower and they are all made of cream marble and looked like beautiful ornate wedding cakes.

It started leaning due to a layer of shifting soil and today is 4.1 metres off the perpendicular but has been fixed somehow so it won't go any further. We wanted to climb to the top but because they stagger groups of 30 there was a couple of hours wait,we didn't want to wait around.

There was so many people surrounding the tower and cathedral and the Baptistry that all looked like ornate white decorated wedding cakes.

Everyone was trying to get "that" picture looking like they were holding up the tower. We wandered back through the old town with its narrow alleys and had some pizza for lunch 7 E with a drink. Had a lovely talk there with my Bradley back home and then back to the station. Nathan found his idea of heaven with a pizza vending machine!!!

Pisa has a lot of graffiti and feels quite poor and run down and had a few people begging as well.

We got our tickets to the Cinque village of Riomaggiore for 11E each ( ½ of what we paid to get here!!)

Thought we would book our tickets to Venice tomorrow while we were at the station and the lady was just passing them through to me after I had paid and she started apologizing saying there was a strike tomorrow between 9 and 5. She tried to get us to Venice before 9am but it wasn’t possible. I asked her to try and get us to Florence before 9am. It was possible but our first train would be at 5am. Our train was coming so I couldn’t finalise it and will try at the next station when we change trains…glad I hadn’t booked any accommodation in Venice as we couldn’t get there!! I love how they say "It is not possible!!!"

We got off the train at Riomaggiore to walk the Del'amore ( The Lovers Walk) to Manarola a1 km flat paved walk . We could only walk a short distance past Manarola due to the landslide cutting the path to Corniglia

Took some photos from Naths and our bedroom window of lovely Corniglia and then we went out to dinner. On the way we stopped to watch a stunning sunset. So could stay here again!!!

Dinner was on a hilltop restaurant overlooking the Mediterrranean and I had enormous grilled prawns that were locally caught and soooo good!!!

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The 368 steps to the station

The 368 steps to the station


The steps

The steps


View from Corniglia to Manarola

View from Corniglia to Manarola


Pisa

Pisa


Pisa

Pisa


Pisa

Pisa


Pisa Cathedral and Baptiserie

Pisa Cathedral and Baptiserie


Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa


Cathedral

Cathedral


It's leaning

It's leaning


Looks like a wedding cake of marble

Looks like a wedding cake of marble


No one is allowed on the grass

No one is allowed on the grass


Leaning Tower

Leaning Tower


Yep...not quite working!

Yep...not quite working!


Not working either!

Not working either!


Nathan in Pizza Vending machine heaven

Nathan in Pizza Vending machine heaven


Brought fresh fruit daily

Brought fresh fruit daily


Track to Manarola from Riomaggiore

Track to Manarola from Riomaggiore


Manarola walk

Manarola walk


Manarola railway station

Manarola railway station


Manarola walk

Manarola walk


Our local church

Our local church


The bells that Nath hated!

The bells that Nath hated!


View from my window on a nice day!!

View from my window on a nice day!!


More view & serenity

More view & serenity


A glimpse of the water far below

A glimpse of the water far below


View from Nath's window

View from Nath's window


Vineyards beside our hostel

Vineyards beside our hostel


More hostel views

More hostel views


Corniglia sunset view

Corniglia sunset view


Sunset over the town

Sunset over the town


Sunset

Sunset


Sunset

Sunset


Sunset

Sunset


Sunset

Sunset


Sunset

Sunset


View from our dinner restaurant

View from our dinner restaurant

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Italy

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